Monday, August 9, 2021

Fermented Spicy Goodness

During the summer Hubby Tony and I eat a lot of watermelon; the sweet red flesh is juicy and refreshing in hot weather. (I especially like cubing and freezing it, then eating the pieces like bite-sized popsicles.)  

But what to do with the rind?  Two years ago I started dabbling with cooking with it. Last summer I tried using it to make kimchi (a Koren dish of salted and fermented vegetables). The results were really good, and this year I started the process of coming up with my own version of the dish. To do that, I took the best of four different recipes I found on the web:

Sorry about the sloppy writing and food splashes :-)

My recipe:

  • 1.5 pounds watermelon rind (just the white part. Remove all the red flesh and green peel)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced (or however many it takes to make a pile equal to the pile of ginger)
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes (Korean if possible-they're not as spicy as the crushed red ones. Of course you could decrease the pepper to make the dish less spicy.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (optional, but it adds a lot of umami)

Slice the watermelon rind into small pieces, or use the slicing blade of a food processor. Put the rind into a glass bowl and add salt, mixing so all pieces are coated. Let set for 20 minutes.

Slice the green onions into pieces approximately the same size as the watermelon. Chop the garlic and mince the ginger.

Pour the rind into a colander and rinse off the salt. Squeeze out the excess water and return the rind to the bowl. Add the green onions, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, and fish sauce (if using). Mix everything together.. It will look like this:


Cover the bowl and let the kimchi ferment at room temperature for 24 hours, or until liquid starts to exude. Stir it a couple of times.  Transfer to a jar and put it into the refrigerator.

The final dish is a delicious combination of spicy, sour, salty, and garlicky. Because it's fermented it's loaded with probiotics. I like to eat it by the spoonful, put it in a salad, or use it like a hot sauce.

Five years ago today: Where's My Food?


  1. The final dish looks very appealing!
    I was just discussing salt with someone. Everything we buy has salt in it as salt is chief preserving agent. During cooking we also add salt, and next, when at the table we add salt to the final meal on the plate.
    Why do people do that, knowing that salt increases blood pressure?

    1. I usually use half the salt a recipe calls for, and can't remember the last time I used it at the table. But I have trained my taste buds appropriately.

    2. What a great idea! We don't use salt much. Not like our parents used! Our high blood pressure hasn't anything to do with salt. It's STRESS!

  2. Great way to use rind, I wish I liked kimchi!

    1. I didn't care for kimchi the first time I tried it either, but every cook (and commercial company) makes it differently. I would encourage you to keep trying and see if you find one that you like.

  3. I thought about just not commenting but then you might wonder what happened to me. So just let me say this; spicy, sour, salty, and garlicky? NO, no, no, and NO. Did that license plate... nevermind. :)

    1. So when I have my spicy, sour, salty, and garlicky dinner party I'll leave your name off the guest list :-)